More dogs than originally thought stuffed into U-Haul - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

More dogs than originally thought stuffed into U-Haul

Pamela King-McCraken, left, and Bonnie Sheehan, photo courtesy the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. Pamela King-McCraken, left, and Bonnie Sheehan, photo courtesy the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

(WMC-TV) – There were more dogs than originally thought squeezed into a U-Haul and a white mini-van which was pulled over in Fayette County as it traveled from California to Virginia Tuesday.

Nina Wingfield, of the Collierville Animal Shelter, said that authorities originally thought there were 128 dogs and a single cat found during Tuesday's traffic stop. However, the animals were recounted and the total number of dogs has risen to 140. The Collierville shelter is helping care for the animals.

The West Tennessee Drug Task Force's Criminal Interdiction Unit stopped the U-Haul on I-40 at exit 42 for following too closely. But investigators found dogs stuffed three and four to a crate when they examined the vehicles.

As evidence in a criminal case, the dogs are being housed in a temporary emergency shelter indefinitely and are not up for adoption.  The SPCA is trying to secure custody through court order, at which point they will spay, neuter, vaccinate, and prepare to place them in willing homes.

According to an affidavit of complaint, a U-Haul was following dangerously close and swerving on I-40.  The driver told the trooper that high winds made it hard to maintain control of the truck.

Initially, the driver told police there were six dogs in the van and 60 in the U-Haul.  Police said the animals were living in a horrible environment.

Bonnie Sherman and Pamela King-McCracken, the women inside the U-Haul, were arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty. Both women are being held on $100,000 bond and are due back in court later this month.

Sheehan owns and operates a rescue group called Hearts for Hounds.  The group claims to have successfully place more than 12,000 animals with forever families.

Hearts for Hounds is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a D rating with the BBB for failing to address a customer complaint.

The women were moving more than 2,400 miles from Long Beach, California to Roanoke, Virginia.  Investigators believe the dogs may have been living in the conditions until the truck was stopped more than 1,800 miles into the journey.

District Attorney Mike Dunavant said Wednesday by phone that veterinarians are assessing the condition of each dog to determine if further criminal charges are warranted.

The SPCA said it does not need volunteers.  If you would like to donate money or supplies, send them to SPCA of Memphis, P.O. Box 381435, Germantown, TN 38183.

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